State of the State: Pennsylvania

State of the State: Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA at historic Independence Hall during autumn season.

King Charles II in 1681 granted the region to William Penn, son of a famous admiral and a devout Quaker. He wanted to simply call the colony “Sylvania,” from the Latin silva meaning “forest,” but the King added “Penn” to honor William’s father.

Retirement income, including Social Security and military benefits, is exempt from taxation for Pennsylvania residents age 60 and older.

Pennsylvania is one of four American states founded as a “commonwealth,” an English term meaning “a political community created for the common good.” The others are Massachusetts, Virginia, and Kentucky.

Home sweet home in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania

There are nearly 60,000 farms in Pennsylvania covering more than 7.5 million acres. On the list of state agricultural productivity, Pennsylvania ranks No. 1 in mushrooms, No. 2 in apples, and No. 3 in Christmas trees.

The Crayola Factory in the Lehigh Valley produces nearly three billion crayons a year.

Spring is on the way!

Up to 20,000 visitors celebrate Groundhog Day every year on February 2nd in Punxsutawney, the self-proclaimed “Weather Capital of the World.”

World-famous Martin guitars and other stringed instruments have been made in Nazareth, PA, since 1838.

A State of Firsts

America’s first magazine (1741) and daily newspaper (1784) were published in Philadelphia, while Pittsburgh was home to the nation’s first baseball stadium (1909), automobile service station (1913), and commercial radio station (1920).

 

State of the State | Nevada

State of the State | Nevada

Nevada offers more than neon lights, nature's beauty

State of the State | Nevada

The state’s name comes from the Spanish word “nevada,” meaning “snow-covered.”

Nevada has more hotel rooms per capita than any other state, a total of nearly 190,000 rooms in 584 hotels with 15 rooms or more.

Nevada has no state, personal, or corporate income tax. The state sales tax ranges from 6.85 to 8.1 percent depending on various local-tax options.

The Oakland Raiders of the NFL will become the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020 when the team moves to the $1.8 billion domed stadium now under construction in Paradise. The Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League already skate at the nearby T-Mobile Arena, while the Las Vegas Aces of the WNBA play at the Mandalay Bay Civic Center.

Nevada has more mountains than any other state except Alaska.

Nevada’s early development was spurred by the discovery of silver at the Comstock Lode in 1859. Nicknamed “The Silver State” after admission to the Union in 1864, it remains today the nation’s largest producer of that precious ore. Nevada is also America’s largest gold-producing state and ranks fourth in the entire world.

The U.S. government owns about 85% of Nevada’s 110,540 square miles, including the famous Area 51 top-secret military zone.

 

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Nevada Governor Fred Balzar signed the bill legalizing gambling in March 1931. The Pair-O-Dice Club opened soon thereafter as the first casino on Highway 91, better known today as the Las Vegas Strip. More than 40 million people now visit the city every year, and Clark County around Las Vegas is home to two of every three Nevadans.

Blue jeans were invented by Jacob Davis, a tailor in Reno.

The border between Nevada and neighboring California includes two noteworthy natural features: Boundary Peak, the state’s highest point at 13,145 feet above sea level, and Lake Tahoe, North America’s highest alpine lake.

Famous native-born Nevadans include tennis star Andre Agassi, race car drivers Kurt and Kyle Busch, First Lady Pat Nixon, actor Nicolas Cage, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, writer Cecelia Holland, boxer Floyd Mayweather, and baseball stars Greg Maddux, Bryce Harper, and Kris Bryant.

Reno is Nevada’s 2nd-largest city and annually hosts The Great Reno Balloon Race, the National Championship Air Races, and the Hot August Nights car convention.

Ideal Places to Live in Nevada.

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State of the State | Utah

State of the State | Utah

Utah National Parks

State of the State | Utah

Utah’s name is derived from the Native American Ute tribe, “People of the Mountains.”

The Utah Territory was settled in 1847 as a refuge for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today, about 62 percent of Utahns identify as Mormons.

Utah is home to five national parks—Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, Bryce, and Capitol Reef; six national forests—Ashley, Dixie, Fishlake, Manti-LaSal, Uinta, and Wasatch-Cache; and seven national monuments—Cedar Breaks, Natural Bridges, Dinosaur, Rainbow Bridge, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Timpanogos Cave, and Hovenweep.

Rainbow Bridge is the world’s largest natural-rock span at 309 feet high and 278 feet wide.

Utah Crystal Clear Lakes

Utah became the nation’s 45th state in 1896, but the federal government still owns about 65 percent of its land.

Utah leads the nation in per-capita consumption of Jell-O, which is appropriately the state’s official snack.

Famous Utahns include outlaw Butch Cassidy, entertainers Donnie and Marie Osmond, actor/director Robert Redford, writer Scott Orson Card, and Frisbee inventor Walter F. Morrison.

 

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Although classified as a “high desert” region with more than 300 days of annual sunshine, Utah has more than 11,000 miles of freshwater fishing streams. In winter, the relatively dry climate produces a powdery precipitation that the state’s thriving ski resorts promote as “The Greatest Snow on Earth.”

Life expectancy in Utah is 80.2 years, higher than the national average of 78.9 years.

Utah Snow Mountains

U.S. News & World report ranks Utah #2 in the nation for health care quality and the state’s best hospitals as University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, and Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George.

Utah was named among the “5 Best States in Which to Retire in 2019” by The Motley Fool for its relatively low taxes, health care access, and natural outdoor recreations.

St. George, located in southwest Utah, ranked as America’s fastest-growing metropolitan area in 2018 and annually hosts the Huntsman World Senior Games.

The Great Salt Lake in Utah covers more than a million acres, but its deepest point is only 34 ft. below the surface and its average depth is just 13 ft. When explorer Jim Bridger “discovered” it in 1824, he initially thought he’d reached the Pacific Ocean.

Ideal Places to Live in Utah.

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Arkansas is The Natural State

Arkansas is The Natural State

Two waterfalls flowing into a blue pool of water. Arkansas Ozark Mountains.

7 Facts & Bits of History That Keep Things Interesting in the Natural State

First, Arkansas is indeed “The Natural State” with six national and 50 state parks, 2.5 million acres of national forests, and 10 national or state scenic byways, plus 600,000 acres of lakes, more than 9,500 miles of streams and rivers, and America’s only active diamond mine.

Brown rice in burlap bag

Arkansas is the leading producer of rice in the United States, growing nearly 50% of the nation’s supply and contributing about $6 billion annually to the state’s economy.

William J Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock

The William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum is located in the state capital of Little Rock. Other famous native Arkansans include composer Scott Joplin, General Douglas McArthur, music legends Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell, author John Grisham, and baseball Hall-of-Famers Dizzy Dean, Brooks Robinson, and Lou Brock.

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville offers an impressive collection of famous works by artists like Norman Rockwell and derives its name from the glass-enclosed bridges over ponds on the site.

Hot Springs Village is America’s largest gated community

Hot Springs Village is America’s largest gated community at 26,000 total acres, roughly 40 square miles.

Arkansas was included in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and became a state in 1836. Its name derives from the French translation of the Quapaw Indian word “acansa,” which means “downstream place.”

Hattie Caraway in 1932.

The first woman ever elected to the United States Senate was from Arkansas— Hattie Caraway in 1932.

Walmart, the retail super-chain with more than 11,000 stores in 27 countries, and Tyson Foods, the world’s largest chicken producer, were both founded and are still headquartered in Arkansas.

 

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The state sales tax in Arkansas is 6.5%, but prescription drugs are exempt and grocery items are taxed at just 1.5%. The effective state property tax rate of 0.59% is the 9th lowest in the nation. Social Security, VA benefits, and military retirement income are not taxed. There are no state inheritance or estate taxes.

Native Americans discovered the 47 springs that flow from Hot Springs Mountain at a rate of one million gallons per day and an average temperature of 143 degrees F. In 1832, President Andrew Jackson designated the area as a “federal reservation,” effectively making it America’s first national park. From the 1880s through the 1930s, the wide-open town became a haven for gangsters like Al Capone and hosted spring training for baseball stars like Babe Ruth. Today, Hot Springs is a major tourist destination with attractions like the thermal baths, The Gangster Museum of America, Hot Springs Baseball Trail, and Oaklawn Racing & Gaming with the region’s premier horse track and casino.

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What Do Water Skiing, Oprah and Root Beer Have in Common?

What Do Water Skiing, Oprah and Root Beer Have in Common?

Great River

 

16 Mississippi Facts That Give Definition to This Ideal Destination

Most of us dig into the history of a place in order to better relate to where we are in the world, or where we’d like to be. We thought we’d help out with this one, because we honestly wanted to know: What makes Mississippi so special aside from the obvious? What gives it that je ne sais quoi that one can only feel in the aura of a place? Here are a few of the things we found.

  1. The state’s name derives from the Ojibwa tribe word “messipi” meaning “great river.”
  2. On a Mississippi hunting expedition in 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a captured bear, resulting in a political cartoon that inspired the first “teddy bear.”
  3. Mississippi became a state in 1817. The state capital of Jackson was named to honor General Andrew Jackson’s victory at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.
  4. The Choctaw Indian Fair, held every July in Philadelphia, MS, includes demonstrations of stickball, arguably America’s oldest game.
  5. Natchez has more than 500 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
  6. Water-skiing was invented on Mississippi’s Lake Pepin in the 1920s.
  7. Root beer was invented in Biloxi in 1898 by Edward Adolf Barq, Sr.
  8. The International Checkers Hall of Fame is in Petal, MS
  9. Natchez has more than 500 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
  10. Blues music was created by African-American artists in the Mississippi Delta region that stretches along the river from Vicksburg to Tunica.
  11. Mississippi has more churches per capita than any other state.
  12. Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, which hosts the annual Tupelo Elvis Festival (June 5-9, 2019). Other famous native Mississippians include Oprah Winfrey, playwright Tennessee Williams, authors William Faulkner and Eudora Welty, opera singer Leontyne Price, actor James Earl Jones, football star Walter Payton, puppeteer Jim Henson, and musicians Bo Diddley and B.B. King (among many, many others).
  13. In 1990, the Mississippi Legislature legalized “dockside” casino gambling, which means that all casinos in the coastal Biloxi-Gulfport and riverside Tunica areas are actually set on massive floating barges. At about $6.5 billion per year, the state ranks third in the nation behind Nevada and New Jersey in casino-industry revenue.
  14. Shoes weren’t always sold in left-right sets until 1884 when Phil Gilbert’s Shoe Parlor in Vicksburg became the first store to sell them as pairs in boxes. Perhaps coincidentally, the nation’s first state college for women was established that very same year in Columbus, MS.
  15. Natchez has more than 500 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
  16. Nearly 2/3 of Mississippi’s total land area—about 19 million acres—is covered in forest.

 

 

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4th Lowest property taxes in the nation

4th Lowest property taxes in the nation

4th Lowest Taxes in the Nation

Chattanooga (pictured above) is a visionary place: on a clear day, parts of seven states can be seen from Lookout Mountain, and its NOOGANET offers free public wireless Internet access.

Tennessee Taxes Make the Rocky Top State Even Dreamier

From tax-friendly to every taxpayers best friend: No state income tax on wages (phasing out interest and dividend income taxes). Effective real property tax rate of 0.55%.

Tennessee earned its nickname
—”The Volunteer State”— when local militiamen volunteered for duty during the War of 1812 and were notably courageous in the Battle of New Orleans.

Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry is the longest continuously running live radio program in the world. It has broadcast every Friday and Saturday night since 1925.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, named for the smoke-like bluish haze that often envelops the hills and valleys, is the most visited national park in the U.S.

The Music Trail
From Memphis to Bristol, the Tennessee Music Highway offers groundbreaking music scenes with soul, rhythm and blues, and country music in large cities and small towns alike.

Elvis Presley’s Graceland home in Memphis is America’s second most visited house.

Centennial Park in Nashville was the site of the Tennessee International Exposition in 1897. Its full-scale replica of The Parthenon, with an enormous statue of the goddess Athena, remains today as the park’s centerpiece attraction.

Tennessee Mountains

Sequoyah, a Cherokee silversmith in Tennessee, is the only known person in history to single-handedly develop an alphabet. His syllabus for the Cherokee Nation resulted in the first written language for a Native American people.

The Ocoee River in southeastern Tennessee is rated among the top white water recreational rivers in the nation and was the site for the 1996 Olympic competitions.

Tennessee has more than 3,800 documented caves, and The Lost Sea near Sweetwater is America’s largest underground lake.

Vanderbilt University and its affiliated hospitals are the largest employers in Tennessee.

 

Explore Tennessee Communities on ideal-LIVING.com

Tennessee National - Tennessee Gated Communities

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Fairfield Glade & Fairfield North - Tennessee Resort Communities

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Retire Tennessee Program Communities - TN Gated Communities

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Lakeside Coves - Tennessee Lake Community

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Tellico Village - Tennessee Retirement Communities

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Jasper Highlands - Tennessee Gated Communities

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WindRiver

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